If you’re old enough to remember times when Harry Potter novels were coming out, then you’re obviously in your twenties or thirties, and you’ll also recall how there were thousands upon thousands of fan theories on the internet, or within your school groups, over what might happen at the end of the series or the clues JK Rowling had left within the books. Even if you’re a younger fan, who read all the books together or binge-watched the film series, you’ll be aware of fan theories since the Fantastic Beasts series and JK Rowling’s endless “reveals” have brought a revival in Harry Potter interest.
With sites like Reddit having so many options for fans to argue about their theories, these theories continue to circulate worldwide. It’s not even purely based on the internet either, as many fans bring up their theories when socializing with one another or attending comic conventions. Now that we’ve put it into perspective, you’ll have realized just how many fan theories have been up in the air about the Harry Potter series. It’s remarkable, then, that a lot of the fans fell for these theories and started considering them as part of the series’ canon.
JK Rowling’s penchant for revealing things (most of which seem to be blatant fan service or things she made up on the fly) has meant certain longstanding fan theories – which people would’ve scoffed at, at one point – are now part legitimately of the Harry Potter universe.
Here’s your chance to see which theories are true, and which ones are false, but made you believe they were correct.
25 False: The Zoo Snake Was Nagini
This one’s been circulating on the internet forever and it’s ridiculous how people have fallen for it. The theory was furthered after fake pictures were made of JK Rowling supposedly confirming that Nagini was the snake Harry freed from the zoo in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
The easiest way to disprove this is that the snake in the zoo was a Boa Constrictor, while Nagini was formerly a human with a condition called a Maledictus; a magical problem. Plus, Rowling herself shot this theory down.
24 True: Grindelwald And Dumbledore’s Relationship Was Intimate
There have been hilarious memes on the internet due to JK Rowling yet again “revealing” things about the books no one ever asked her to. Yet, fan theories that suggested Grindelwald did return Dumbledore’s feelings when they were youngsters have now been proven correct.
Rowling admitted she thought of their relationship not as a platonic love, but one that was filled with genuine, and physical, love. Sure, it’s just JK taking the easy route to make the series inclusive, but this does check the fan theories box all right.
23 False: Draco Secretly Being In Love With Hermione
For the thousandth time, people, Draco Malfoy never had any feelings other than disgust for Hermione. Draco fan-girls love to convince themselves that he secretly harbored feelings for the Muggle-Born Hermione, but this has been turned down both by Rowling, and the fact that Draco was literally disgusted by her.
He was raised to believe Mudbloods were the lowest form of people, and he stuck to it throughout, even refusing to graze hands with Hermione let alone be in love with her.
22 True: Dumbledore Saw Grindelwald In The Mirror Of Erised
Yup, here’s another fan theory that was confirmed very recently and in very accurate fashion too. Many theorized that Dumbledore didn’t see his sister Arianna in the Mirror of Erised, instead seeing his former lover Grindelwald.
All you need to do is watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and you’ll see this fan theory coming to life as Dumbledore stands by the mirror and sees himself and Grindelwald being extremely close. Although, it did clash with the fact that the mirror is supposed to show deepest desires, and Dumbledore saw memories, not thoughts.
21 False: Bill Being A Werewolf
Since we don’t really see Bill much in films and in the books, people have gotten to accept the false fact that Bill is a werewolf now that he’s been scarred permanently by Fenrir Greyback.
This fan theory can’t hold up in the face of what we’ve seen of Bill. He went all of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Parts 1 & 2 without turning into a werewolf, and the books only suggested he developed a liking for extremely rare steaks. Other than that, Bill has no werewolf tendencies.
20 True: Harry, Snape, and Voldemort Represent The Peverell Brothers
This theory started out when Rowling confirmed that Harry greeted his demise as an old friend, who took the form of Dumbledore. Once that theory was confirmed, it grew to Snape and Voldemort taking the roles of the first and second Peverell brother, wherein Voldemort met his end due to his obsession with power and his end because of the Elder Wand; Snape being driven, and passing away due to, his love for Lily made him the second brother.
Since Harry is confirmed to represent the third brother, everything about Snape and Voldemort’s roles stands as well.
19 False: Harry Being A Horcrux Caused The Dursleys To Hate Him
It’s an interesting theory that Voldemort’s soul inside Harry was so corrupt that it influenced others to hate him. However, the theory was disproved when Rowling revealed why Uncle Vernon really hated James, and Harry by extension.
Evidently, James was unimpressed by Vernon when he met him in person and Vernon took offense by this. Thus, Vernon carried contempt for Harry’s father and took it out on the boy. As for Petunia, she was just bitter that she didn’t get to be a witch like her sister.
18 True: Voldemort’s Soul Inside Harry Caused Him The Pain In The Scar
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it is never outright stated that Harry harboring the soul of Voldemort was what made the scar on his forehead ignite with pain.
This was later confirmed, though, when the reasoning was elaborated; it was explained that the scar on Harry’s forehead was where Voldemort’s soul rested and every time Harry was near Voldemort, the piece of soul tried to break away from Harry’s body and return to its true person. The soul fragment was literally trying to rip through Harry’s head; no wonder he was in such agony.
17 False: That Ginny Gave Harry A Love Potion
We can see why this theory is a thing. Ginny was a freakazoid (yes, that’s a made up word) when it came to Harry in the first four books, and Harry’s infatuation with her came literally out of nowhere; so much so that it became questionable if he was in love or unhealthily obsessed.
However, Ginny didn’t slip Harry any love potion since it is factual that a love potion needs to be regularly administered and Harry went almost a year without meeting Ginny in Deathly Hallows. Looks like Harry went crazy on his own.
16 True: Dumbledore Taught Subjects Other Than Transfiguration
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald seems to have made quite a few fan theories canon; JK Rowling does seem to be headed that way. Regardless of how you feel about this, this theory has been confirmed since Dumbledore was shown to be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts in that film.
This means his first job at Hogwarts wasn’t Transfiguration, which he became famous for. It also solidified the belief that Dumbledore worked his way up the Hogwarts ladder before becoming Headmaster.
15 False: Ron Was Dumbledore’s Past
There are some theories that are truly L-O-L worthy. This one about Ron potentially being a past version of Dumbledore really takes the cake, though.
The theory was at its strongest back when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hadn’t been released yet, with some fans claiming the end would see the heroes’ demise save Ron’s, who would use a time turner to orchestrate events in the past to defeat Voldemort. Of course, we all know this was incorrect seeing that Dumbledore’s past is now common knowledge.
14 False: That Uncle Vernon Liked Harry Deep Down
Another theory that was strongest pre-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, fans loved the idea that Harry would have a heartfelt goodbye with the Dursleys, especially Uncle Vernon, who would profess his love for the little boy.
This really isn’t true since it was revealed that Harry only remained in contact with Dudley – the only Dursley he made amends with – and never saw Uncle Vernon ever again. There’s further proof that Uncle Vernon had no care for Harry in Deathly Hallows, where he shows indifference for Harry’s safety and is mildly amused at the idea that someone’s out to get his life.
13 True: Lavender Brown Passed Away In Deathly Hallows
Unfortunately for Lavender Brown fans, this fan theory is correct. We have never heard any word from JK Rowling of whether Lavender survived being savaged by Fenir Greyback in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Deathly Hallows – Part 2 confirmed this notion by outright showing her demise.
Lavender was never mentioned in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child nor is there any mention of her whereabouts on Pottermore. For all intents and purposes, Lavender met her end in the Battle of Hogwarts. Poor Lav-Lav.
12 False: That Snape Cared For Harry
Oh boy, people love painting Snape as a complete saint nowadays, so much that fan theories about him are considered canon by many.
Hate (actually love) to burst your bubble, but Snape has been confirmed to not have any care for Harry. Rowling explained that he was such a complex character that people mistook his protection of Harry as him caring for him. In actuality, Snape only protected him for Lily’s sake. Had Lily survived and Harry passed away, Snape wouldn’t have cared in the slightest. It was only because Harry had Lily’s eyes that Snape got on board to protecting him.
11 False: Hogwarts Was Harry’s Hallucinations
This is truly a very interesting theory, and one that eerily could’ve been true had JK Rowling decided in favor. Thankfully, the fan theory that Harry was a deeply troubled child, whose tribulations at the hands of the Dursleys had caused him to become severely deluded, isn’t true.
However, the theory is interesting that Harry fabricated all of Hogwarts and the magical world in his head to escape the psychological trauma suffered from the Dursleys. It could’ve been true had Harry Potter not been a children’s book series.
10 True: Minerva McGonagall Was A Half-Blood
Almost everyone was convinced that Professor McGonagall was a pureblood considering her aptitude with magic; a small portion were convinced she was a half-blood. Rejoice, the small majority of fans, because you were proven right.
As revealed in Pottermore, Professor McGonagall indeed was a half-blood. Her father was a Muggle, while her mother ceased using magic in order to be with him. This essentially made Professor McGonagall a Muggle herself until Hogwarts called. No wonder she’s so up to track with Muggle-Borns, she knows what it’s like to be them.
9 False: That Fawkes Became Harry’s Possession
Dumbledore made certain things passed down to Harry and friends in his will; the natural assumption was that Fawkes the Phoenix was now also Harry’s.
This isn’t correct since Fawkes was never seen again after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The Phoenix was now free and went to unknown parts of the world, and it appears that was Dumbledore’s intention all along. Harry never saw Fawkes again after Dumbledore’s demise, so not only is he not Fawkes’ owner, he has no clue where Fawkes is.
8 False: The McGonagall In Fantastic Beasts Was Minerva
Truth be told, this isn’t completely false but a toss-up. Fantastic Beasts 3 might shed some light on this, and till that happens we’ll keep this in the false pile.
There are just too many contradictions for The Crimes of Grindelwald McGonagall to be Minerva. Firstly, the film was set seventy years before Harry Potter, but McGonagall had stated in Book 5 that she’d taught for thirty-nine years. Another contradiction is that her birth year was stated to be 1935, which was a decade after the movie was set. For now, the Crimes of Grindelwald McGonagall is another witch, not Minerva.
7 True: Aberforth Had An Unhealthy Obsession With Goats
Harry Potter is supposed to be a children’s book series, so we can’t have the narration state openly that Aberforth got freaky with a bunch of goats.
But that’s exactly what the guy did as when asked about Aberforth’s unhealthy obsession with goats, JK Rowling more or less confirmed it. In fact, this was the main reason why Aberforth never married or had a girlfriend, he went to jail briefly for committing disturbing acts to goats. And you thought Albus was weird.
6 False: That Hufflepuff Was A House For Losers
The ones who don’t stand out end up in Hufflepuff, which is why the house is considered for those who are a bunch of losers; adding to the notion is the fact that Hufflepuff never wins anything or has significant achievements.
However, this theory is false as Rowling stressed that Hufflepuff’s quality was that they were a bunch of hard workers who embraced loyalty, determination, and acceptance. It was the house for those who didn’t care about fame, wit, or ambition; you could say Hufflepuffs are the most welcoming sort.
5 False: That Sirius Was In Love With James
It’s odd that a guy as handsome and rich as Sirius never had a girlfriend, and since we mostly just hear him prattle on about how awesome he thought James was, many fan theories claim that Sirius was actually in love with him.
But this can’t be true since Sirius’ room was shown to have plasters of female models in bikinis and the fact that he was said to attract a lot of female attention in school. The most obvious reasoning is that Sirius went to jail when he was only 21, and never had the opportunity to date women.
4 True: Nagini’s Horcrux Was Made From The Demise Of Bertha Jorkins
Even Dumbledore can be wrong at times, and he was proven wrong by fan theorists who claimed that the timeline pointed toward Nagini becoming a Horcrux after the demise of Bertha Jorkins, not Frank Bryce.
Dumbledore had incorrectly theorized Frank Bryce’s demise as the Horcrux in Half-Blood Prince, but Rowling herself confirmed that it was the Bertha Jorkins' Avada Kedavra that had contributed toward Nagini becoming the final Horcrux. Looks like we can’t take Dumbledore’s words as fact all the time, can we?
3 False: Neville And Luna’s Romantic Relationship
As much as we’d have liked Neville and Luna to end up together, that sadly just isn’t the case. How has this fan theory been disproved, you ask? That would be because Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts is supposed to be the grandfather of Luna’s husband.
Deathly Hallows – Part 2 had Neville and Luna get together, but the actor who played Neville elaborated that the relationship only became a summer romance, after which Neville and Luna broke up. Oh well, at least we can pretend these two stayed together.
2 False: James Potter Fully Matured From Being A Bully
James Potter really never became likable, although he was said to have matured. Considering he was only 21-years-old when he passed away, this didn’t give him much time to mature from when he was 17.
The theory that James became a mature adult is proven false by Sirius’ own admission that while James stopped hexing people at random, he still antagonized Snape on a regular basis. Since we also know Snape was unjustly bullied by Sirius even as grown-ups, it’s easy to surmise that James never grew out of being a bully. Seriously, what did Lily ever see in this guy?
1 True: Hermione’s Ethnicity Was Ambiguous
Part of JK Rowling’s early attempts at making Harry Potter retroactively inclusive, she argued that the different ethnicity of the actress playing Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child wasn’t incorrect since she never made clear in the books what ethnicity Hermione was supposed to be.
Fan theories before Cursed Child also suggested the same since Hermione’s description was always focused on her bushy hair rather than skin color. Those fans were called crazy at the time, but look who’s laughing now; although Cursed Child was a horrible story, so we don’t know if it was worth being right for these fan theorists.